Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Driving While Creative: Trying To Function Normally Sucks

If you're anything like me, there's lots of stuff that inspires you, or at least lots of stuff that piques your interest. The problem is, most of that stuff happens while you're trying to do other things. For example:

Photo by William Lesch.
I live in Tucson, Arizona. If you've never traveled here, you should know there are two things about this city that are so stunningly gorgeous and distinctive, I'm shocked we don't have them printed on our city seal: our mountains and our sunsets. Tucson is located in a valley between the Santa Catalina, Rincon, Santa Rita, and Tucson mountain ranges Although our mountains do have a good amount of greenery when compared to the desert below, they also have a lot of exposed rock face -- which makes for AMAZING textures, especially in the late afternoon/early evening.

Which brings me to my next rhapsody: the sunsets. The Sunsets. Tucson's sunsets are, in my mind, to this day unparalleled by any sunset I've seen elsewhere. I mean, look at it:

And that doesn't even get into the saguaros, or all the super cool wildlife, or our absolutely epic monsoon season . . . (yeah, I'm a desert rat in love with my home, I know).

The point is, I live is a beautiful freaking place, and seeing all this stuff just drives me wild with inspiration. Only problem? It tends to happen when I'm driving.

Yes, because I am so enamored with the beautiful world I live in, I have trouble resisting an almost irrepresible urge to make some terrible decisions, along with some that are highly inconvenient, or just plain awkward for everyone involved, all in the name of capturing inspiration. These include, but are not limited to:
  • photographing while driving (bad, BAD idea)
  • filming while driving (ditto)
  • stopping the car on the side of the road every five minutes to document the scenery
  • totally, totally, invading someone's property just so that I can capture this one really cool thing (and 99.9% of the time it's the railroad that owns it, and those people can be quite intimidating when they tell you to get off the damn tracks)
  • making mential notes to somehow get a picture in the future of some location, only to later drive past there and not be able to find it
  • weaving like an idiot in my lane before I realize what I'm doing, all because I saw something gorgeous
Now, I don't mean to give the impression that all artists are bad at driving -- I'm actually quite safe on the road, so long as I keep my eyes squarely on the pavement and the cars around me -- but it sucks to be passing all of this great inspiring stuff, and not be able to document any of it, all just because I'm supposed to be driving. Freaking societal responsibility and traffic laws and whatnot, amiright??

In all seriousness, the great part about inspiration is that you don't necessarily have to get a picture of whatever it is that inspires you in order for you to remember it . . . but if you're thinking that a photo is the only way you're going to remember exactly how that light looked falling across that tree, you might want to have a designated driver.

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